Broncos running back Quentin Griffin was the first high-profile starter this season to learn that you can indeed lose your job in the NFL when you're not on the field. When he sprained his ankle late in Week 4, Reuben Droughns stepped in to rush for 193 and 176 yards the next two games.
By the time Griffin returned, Droughns was the undisputed starter. The Broncos added kick return duties to Griffin's plate to get him on the field more, and now he's lost for the season after suffering a knee injury on a second-half return Monday night.
Griffin might want to call and give a word of warning to Minnesota running back Michael Bennett.
Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings are tossing around the idea of looking at Bennett as a kick returner because their former starter in the backfield is facing a difficult road to earn snaps. While Bennett missed the first five games with a knee injury, rookie Mewelde Moore was busy producing big numbers in the running and passing games.
With veteran Moe Williams in the fold and Onterrio Smith returning in two games from his suspension, Bennett could be squeezed out of the mix.
"We love Mike Bennett," Vikings coach Mike Tice said. "But Mike has to earn his way back into the fold. At this point right now, I don't have any inclination of starting him."
Suddenly, Bennett isn't too valuable a commodity to risk getting injured returning kicks.
Baltimore Ravens: In Baltimore, center Mike Flynn has been cleared to play after missing the first six games with a broken clavicle. But Casey Rabach has played so well in his absence that the Ravens are in no rush to get Flynn back in the starting lineup.
"Casey has played brilliantly the entire season, so Mike's going to have to adapt to how we dole this thing out," coach Brian Billick said. "Until Mike is ready for a 65-snap game, then we'll discuss that. But we don't have to make that decision yet so we won't."
Perhaps fortunately for Flynn, he doesn't quite have the physical build coaches look for in a return man.
Players losing jobs to injuries?
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